Flyers GM: We won't try to sign Johnny Gaudreau
"We don't have the cap space to pursue those free agents," general manager Chuck Fletcher said Wednesday, according to Kevin Durso of 97.3 ESPN FM.
Gaudreau hit the open market hours after reportedly informing the Calgary Flames he won't re-sign. The 28-year-old registered 40 goals and 75 assists last season, making him the face of the 2022 free-agent class.
The Flyers began the offseason pressed up against the salary cap. They bought out Oskar Lindblom to create $3.3 million in space but used most of the savings to bring back defenseman Justin Braun and add forward Nicolas Deslauriers on Day 1 of free agency.
"You'd have to move multiple contracts," Fletcher said of a potential run at Gaudreau. "You have to have a team as well. Some contracts are hard to move, some we don't want to move."
Gaudreau grew up in southern New Jersey, near the border to Philadelphia, and was most heavily linked to the Flyers and New Jersey Devils leading up to free agency.
The Columbus Blue Jackets entered the sweepstakes with a rumored seven-year, $84-million offer, according to Daily Faceoff's Frank Seravalli. The New York Islanders are also in the mix, per Aaron Portzline of The Athletic.
Gaudreau, a six-time All-Star, has spent his entire NHL career in Calgary.